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March On, March Strong…following who?

05 Mar
Last week, we looked at asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us as we sign up for the army of the Lord.  Today, I want to talk about who it is that we serve in the army.  Who is Jesus?  Do we really understand who is in charge and whose commands we are to follow?  To begin to uncover what this, let’s look at a couple of passages in the Gospel of Mark.  Mark 8:31-33.

This is strong text that is often difficult for us to understand and take in.  Jesus is teaching the disciples about how He must suffer, die and rise again.  That must have been huge for them to take in.  Prior to this, Jesus has hinted around at it.  He has taught in parable form.  He has even indicated that things needed to have a sense of secrecy about them.  To really get this, let’s go back and look at Mark 8:27-30.

Wow – this is quite a change in tone.  Jesus asks who people are saying that He is.  Then, He asks the disciples who they think that He is.  Peter announces loud and clear that Jesus is the Christ.  He is the One they have been waiting for…the Messiah!  Jesus tells them not to tell anyone.  Why?  Possibly because if people start lifting Him up as the Messiah at this point, they could begin “putting Him on a pedestal” and making it more difficult to have God’s will fulfilled about what was to come.  What was to come?  Jesus tells them what is to come.  He tells them that He will have to suffer and die.  He tells them He will rise again.  But, they, like many others, are expecting something completely different from the Messiah.  They are looking for a King.  They are looking for a Savior of their nation – literally saving them from their current situation – not spiritually.

Jesus knew that what He was there for was something completely different than anyone expected.  That is because they were thinking in terms they could comprehend and understand…King saves the people and wins the battle.  They are saved.  But the saving they are expecting is temporary.  They had been saved many times from captivity and imprisonment.  Jesus wanted to help the disciples to begin to understand…but it was too much for Peter.  He couldn’t stand to hear this about His Christ.  So, He is thinking in human terms about what He wants Jesus to be and to do.  Jesus quickly puts Peter back in his place – and at the same time, I am sure makes a major impact on the others as well.  Jesus could have heard the temptation from Satan to just take the King position and not worry about the suffering.  Remember in the Garden, He prayed that if the cup could pass… Jesus knew He had to follow God’s plan and knew that this was not from God.  He stopped Peter in his tracks and put him in his rightful place – as a follower, a disciple.  Peter still had MUCH to learn and SO DO WE!  How many times do we look at God’s will and try to make it fit with the image of how we think things should be?  Think about it…blessings mean money…God’s favor means wealth…persecution and suffering means you are doing something wrong…help yourself, look after #1…and so on.

None of this fits in with the scriptures…Blessings are from above and are not understood with human ideals…God’s favor is not earthly wealth or anything earthly…as we know that treasures are not to be stored up here…where you treasure is, there your heart is also…

Until we begin to understand who Jesus is and what He has done for us – listening to the Holy Spirit and to the Word rather than the world, we will never begin what He is trying to do in and through us.
We will never begin to comprehend how to live in this world when our home is not here.  We will never really get it until we begin to “GET HIM”.  Soldiers…it’s time we start reading the manual, listening to the leader, and begin obedient…march on, march strong in the power of the Lord!!

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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